Hunting For Vintage Jeans
Jeans: Levi's via Beyond Retro (tailored to fit by a place in Soho), Blouse: Marks & Spencer, Boots: ByFar, Basket: Fonott
The one ultimate wardrobe staple that anyone and everyone cannot live without, the piece that works with everything come rain or shine, the piece that never dates and probably the most worn item you own - yep you guessed it, the humble blue jean! I love jeans. Much like a striped top, you'll probably never find the perfect pair because just as you think you have, another pair comes along to pip them to the post and so you end up with a wardrobe full of 'the perfect pair'. However, this is no bad thing, as I said, they are probably your most over worn item in there and so having a bit of a collection is probably a good thing. I dread to think how many pairs I own, and, how many of those pairs are vintage. Much as a lot of things these days, they just don't make them like they used to, and so I prefer almost everything about a vintage pair. I get asked a lot on Instagram about where I shop for my vintage Levi's, how I find the right fit and ultimately what I'd reccomend, so I thought I'd put a post together once and for all, with all of the information you could ever need when shopping for vintage jeans!
Hit The Shops
My number one piece of advice is shop IRL rather than online. I have bought one pair of my vintage Levi's online and surprisingly they fit quite well, however I'd always say in store is best. You can get a better visual on them, you can touch and feel the denim, check if there are any holes or rips and ultimately try them on for size which is SO important with vintage denim. So where shall I be searching you ask? Well, Beyond Retro is one of my fave vintage haunts to hunt in, they have a few stores in and around London and they all offer a great denim selection. I always rifle through the men’s first as a top tip, essentially they're unisex anyway but vintage shops always seem to have a better 'mens' selection of denim. Brick Lane is always a good place to check in on when searching for vintage jeans too as there are loads of vintage shops with hoards of denim so plenty searching to be done. Charity shops are also a great place to look - you can find some great vintage denim at an absolute snip! If you did want to do some hunting online then I always use Depop, Ebay and Vestiaire for all my vintage needs.
Try, Try and Try Again
When it comes to vintage jeans shopping you absolutely have to try on at least seven pairs. You see there is no standardisation - two label's reading W34 could fit very differently and that is why you should always try, try and try again my friends. If you're heading to the changing room with any less than ten pairs slung over your arm them you're doing it all wrong! I'd also like to take this opportunity to tell you to point blank ignore the sizing on the label, W30 in vintage jeans does NOT = W30 in say, Topshop for example. The sizes make no sense lets be honest, I own approx. 36738 pairs in approx. 6378 sizes so logic goes out of the window on this hunt. Vintage denim is also a lot more solid shall we say, with no elastine stretch, like that of a lot of high street options so you need to ensure a good fit. This is one of the things I love about them though, so structured and they hold you in, making your bum look peachy AF.
Be Willing To make It Work
Now, if you happen to find the perfect shade of blue denim but they are slightly too large on the waist, too long or even too wide, then my advice to you is be willing to make it work and take them to your local tailors to be taken in to pit you perfectly. You can't get better fitting than that really can you? I did that with the pair I'm wearing here - when I found them in Beyond Retro I fell in love with them as they are the perfect wash and were a nice long length so that I could chop the bottoms off to create a frayed hem look. They fitted me so well on the legs but the waist/ bum was just too baggy (story of my pear shaped, massive arse, small waist life) so I thought right, i'm making my own re/done's and heading down to get them tailored to fit. It cost me £28 for the jeans and £15 for the tailoring I think so for the bargainous price of £43 i got myself the perfect fitting, perfect blue vintage Levi's. Winner!
If all else fails and you'd rather less of the raking and tailor visiting (but more of the splurging) then you can always pick up some Re/ Done's - vintage Levi's re-worked to fit you perfectly!
I hope that helps anyone out there after the perfect pair of vintage jeans - it can be a long old hunt but I promise you, when you find the dream pair, it'll all be worth it.